Since 1982, LIFT-UP has been a grassroots organization
born out of the meaningful and genuine mission
to help our friends and neighbors survive hardship:
LIFTING UP those suffering from food insecurity
THE HISTORY OF LIFT-UP
LIFT-UP was established May of 1982 in response to the collapse of the oil shale industry and the hardest area hit was Rifle, CO, the epicenter of the crisis. When the boom hit, the Rifle population had jumped from 2,700 to over 4,500 people as the workers rushed in eager for work. Following the collapse, however, over 2,000 people found themselves out of work, with no way to feed or care for their families; some living in cars and under bridges.
In response to the ever-increasing crisis, local churches, businesses and concerned citizens joined together to create a long-term solution to food insecurity in their town. It was through true community union and compassion that the organization LIFE INTERFAITH TEAM ON UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY or, as we know it today; LIFT-UP.
It was quickly realized that food insecurity went far beyond Rifle and over the past 40 years LIFT-UP has risen to meet the needs of our communities from Aspen to Parachute. LIFT-UP maintains established Food Pantries in Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Rifle and Parachute in addition to providing mobile food distribution services.
In 2022 LIFT-UP celebrates our 40th year Anniversary and with a big number comes a big year. We are expanding our Farm to Food Pantry program which supplies fresh healthy food to our various locations. Support of this initiative is vitally important to our customers, the local farmers and the Roaring Fork Valley communities. While we may be 40 years from 1982, the same urgent needs exist. We have friends, co-workers, neighbors who are suffering from food insecurity every day and need our help more than ever. Your support of LIFT-UP's infrastructure, operations and food programs are just as important today as they were 40 years ago.
IVAN JACKSON joined LIFT-UPin August of 2021 and brings a long history of leadership in the nonprofit sector, specifically in youth athletic programs.
Born in London, Ivan has resided in States for more than 25 years. Prior to moving to our valley, Ivan, his wife Kate and their blended family of six children lived in Boulder.
"Leading the fight to end food insecurity really hit home with me and the pandemic had a lot to do with my interest in joining LIFT-UP. The pandemic made me realize how lucky we are as a family. The idea of helping people survive on a daily basis that immediately piqued my intterest".
Renee Horton joined LIFT-UP in September 2018, bringing over 20 years of experience in creating, organizing, and implementing programs, policies and procedures with the last 16 years at the Department of Human Services. “I love being able to help others gain confidence and re-build their lives through a wide variety of programs and partnerships.”
Having lived in the valley for most of the last 27 years, she spends time with her husband Travis, her two daughters and five grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her husband Travis, her two daughters and five grandchildren while camping, swimming, and having summer barbecues.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
Scott Shirley joined the LIFT-UP team in June 2021 and brings over 30 years experience of working with nonprofits. From being a Pastor and working with local and international nonprofits, Scott had lead volunteer teams to 5 different countries to feed those in need, build homes, schools, churches, and train communities.
Scott moved to the valley over 5 years ago and since has called Rifle, CO home. He has 3 children and 1.5 grand children. Traveling the back roads and exploring new places is where he likes to unwind.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Trudie Porter Biggers is a grant writer, oral historian, author, and artist who joined LIFT-UP in July 2021. She has written and managed grants for nonprofit organizations focusing on hunger relief, housing insecurity, bullying prevention, social justice, and historic preservation.
In addition to writing for several magazines, Trudie has published an eBook titled, The Huntley Irrigation Project: Engineering, Construction & Homesteading and is a contributing author to the Montana Memory Project and the Digital Public Library of America.
Trudie introjects passion and lived experiences into her writing, stating, “By alleviating the suffering of hunger, LIFT-UP furthers the goal of empowering those with diminished societal influence. Why? Because it's tough to create positive change on an empty stomach.”
Jaid's position is brought to LIFT-UP through the partnership with United Way Battlement to the Bells’ AmeriCorps VISTA program. The Volunteer Program
Specialist will engage with the public to strengthen awareness and engagement, across diverse
communities, to support LIFT-UP’s mission through volunteerism. Jaid is a Colorado native, but has spent the last six years in Montana. She spent most of that time working with volunteer organizations such as Key Club and AIDSpirit USA.
Courtney Raab joined the LIFT-UP team in June of 2021. Upon graduating from Northwest Kansas Technical College, Courtney has moved from Denver to Rifle to follow her administration career goals. Courtney has volunteered for multiple non-profits in the past so when the opportunity arises for her to join the LIFT-UP team she jumped on it.
During her free time she loves to spend time with her fiancé and son.
Shani Munoz has been with LIFT-UP since November of 2021 and she says that it has been quite an exciting journey. Working in the Thrift Store she sees all kinds of different energies, people and donations. Shani enjoys working for LIFT-UP because they are so involved in the community and helping end food insecurity here in the Roaring Fork Valley. On her pass time she likes to spend time with her daughter and boyfriend. They enjoy paddle boarding up at Harvey Gap and doing family events.
RIFLE THRIFT STORE MANAGER
PJ Willett joined the LIFT-UP team in September of 2021. He formerly worked at multiple nonprofit organizations in Montana over the past 10 years. PJ moved to CO a little over a year ago and was excited to find the opportunity to be involved and helping the community.
WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS OPERATIONS MANAGER
Joshua Stover joined the LIFT-UP team in November of 2021. Upon graduating from Colorado Mesa University, Joshua spent 4 years working in healthcare in various administrative positions. These roles brought him many amazing opportunities, but he knew that he ultimately wanted to be more involved in serving his community. Joshua joined Lift-up knowing that he will be able to continuously fill his passion for serving others in a meaningful way.
FOOD DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS MANAGER
Melissa Harris joined the LIFT-UP team in November of 2021, but has been a part of the non-profit community in her home state of Oregon and now here in Colorado through church ministry work for a combined twenty years of service. Her background also includes volunteer management, training, and recruitment; in addition to working as an Adjunct English Instructor here on the Western Slope of Colorado since 2019. Melissa and her family moved to Rifle, CO in August of 2019, with her husband and two teenage kids to help support their extended family members. In her “spare” time, Melissa loves to upcycle and transform junk into art pieces and repurposed furniture.